Issue Brief: Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act

The Issue

ASLA supports legislation that addresses further improvement and investment in our nation’s water and stormwater management infrastructure.

Background & Analysis

Representative Lois Capps (CA) and Senators Benjamin Cardin (MD), Barbara Boxer (CA) and Harry Reid (NV) have introduced
the Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act of 2015, H.R.1278 and S.741, that funds water infrastructure projects that address changing hydrological conditions.

Specifically, the legislation creates a new EPA Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability program that offers competitive matching funds to water, wastewater, and stormwater agencies for water conservation and efficiency projects, water quality improvement and rebuilding or relocation of threatened infrastructure.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 2014 was Earth’s warmest year on record, and extreme weather events, ranging from severe storms in the East to prolonged drought in the West, continue to batter our nation. The Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act (WIRSA) of 2015 encourages water systems to utilize innovative approaches, such as green infrastructure to serve as models for communities struggling to with water management challenges. Eligible projects funded under WIRSA would include those that conserve water or increase efficiency in its use, preserve or improve water quality, rebuild or relocate threatened infrastructure, protect source waters and ecosystems, and implement advance treatment technologies such as water reuse and recycling. In sum, the legislation will encourage communities across the country to build resiliency into their infrastructure today, while helping ensure uninterrupted water and wastewater service for decades to come.


Representative Lois Capps (CA) and co-sponsors
Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) and co-sponsors 

Current Status

S. 741 was introduced Monday March 16, 2015 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
H.R. 1278 was introduced Wednesday March 3, 2015and referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Energy and Commerce and House Committee on Natural Resources.


The 113th Congress expired before the Water INfrastructure Resliency and Sustainability Act of 2014 received further action. WIRSA has garnered the support of the American Public Works Association (APWA), American Rivers, American Water Works Association, Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Water Environment Federation, WateReuse Association, Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


H.R. 1278
S. 741
Representative Lois Capps Press Release
Senator Benjamin Cardin Press Release

Related ASLA Policies

Water Quality and Conservation
Environmental Sustainability


ASLA Government Affairs